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2018 Top Tourism Operators Recognised by Industry

2018 Top Tourism Operators Recognised by Industry

Three of New Zealand’s top tourism operators have been recognised as the best in the business by their industry peers. The awards event, part of the annual Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ) Tourism Conference was held at Craggy Range in the Hawke’s Bay last night (Wednesday 8 August).

“Congratulations to our 2018 winners” says Chief Executive, Judy Chen. “Our annual Operator of the Year Awards celebrate those who are highly engaged with their business partners in the industry and have excelled in areas of innovation, customer service and responsible tourism.”

“Awards finalists were chosen by the TECNZ Board but the winners are decided by member votes with many past winners commenting on the significance of receiving acknowledgment from their peers within the industry. As we head into another busy summer season this is just the boost our three winners deserve to help them continue to deliver fabulous, often bucket list holiday experiences in New Zealand.”

The winners of the 2018 Operator of the Year Awards are:

Inbound Operator of the Year Award
General Travel New Zealand

General Travel New Zealand is one of the country's longest established inbound tour operators.

Founded in 1973 by Peter Black, General Travel New Zealand is a privately owned and operated company that takes a personal and direct interest in meeting, and often exceeding, the expectations of individual travellers and groups of visitors from markets including North America, Australia, Japan, Asia, Europe, South Africa, India and South America.

General Travel employs 35 staff in Auckland and another 12 in 5 offshore sales offices. They work in all visitor markets to varying degrees and are often one of the first companies into new and emerging markets to spread the New Zealand Story.

The day to day running of the business now falls largely to John Sng (Managing Director) and Anna Black (Executive Director), while Peter makes a good attempt to retire. The company has been a member of TECNZ since the mid-70s and is one of the original members with Peter, others from the General Travel team and now Anna having all served on the TECNZ Board, with Anna the incumbent TECNZ Chair.

Ms Chen said, “General Travel has been a long standing and highly regarded operator in the tourism sector for over 40 years. As the industry has grown and changed so too has General Travel and this is a huge credit to Peter, Anna, John and their team.”

Allied Operator of the Year Award
Scenic Hotel Group

Founded in 1980 on the West Coast of the South Island, the Scenic Hotel Group story is one of friends and family. Over nearly four decades, Scenic Hotel Group has grown to 18 hotels that stretch from Paihia in the far north to Gore and Queenstown in the deep south and now also includes the South Pacific nations of Niue and Tonga.

In New Zealand, Scenic Hotel Group delivers a uniquely kiwi experience and is passionate about growing and developing sustainable tourism in New Zealand all demonstrated through a range of environmental and procurement initiatives.

Ms Chen said, “The Scenic Hotel Group is another shining example of a company that has grown and evolved as the tourism industry has. Scenic has always been a huge supporter of the industry and this award is well deserved. Managing Director, Lani Hagaman can be justifiably proud of the Scenic Hotel Group collection, often located in some of the more remote but arguably most beautiful destinations throughout New Zealand.”

Small Business Operator of the Year Award
Ecozip Adventures

EcoZip Adventures, a Waiheke Island based zipline tourism company first opened their doors to the paying public in 2012. From those initial months, when they thought to zip 50 guests in a day was a huge achievement, to tens of thousands of guests every year, the company ensures they never lose sight of the simple vision they had for the business, that of introducing visitors to the native forests surrounding Auckland without the need for hiking gear or having to find lots of time for backcountry hiking.

Ms Chen said,” EcoZip is another brilliant example of making New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes accessible for all ages and levels of fitness. Combining great views and eco-tourism, as well as, Waiheke Island’s fantastic food and beverage offering makes for a compelling visitor experience which is what makes EcoZip Adventures the sort of visitor activity that tour operators are looking for.”

ENDS

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